Last week, one of our Gurus, Audrey, had the chance to attend Google’s Think Auto 2019. The event was packed with interesting insights and takeaways for those in the automotive industry. One interesting topic that came up was the idea that changing customer desires and technological disruption are pushing the Canadian automotive industry to a competitive tipping point. In other words, to win in today’s market, dealers need to make data their competitive advantage.
At CarGurus, we’re always looking for ways to share more industry insights with our valued dealers. Today, our Director of Automotive Industry and Economic Analysis, George Augustaitis, takes a look at the ZEV landscape in Canada.
The Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf are poised to lead EV market in Canada
The Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf brands are both primed to take advantage of the new federal ZEV credit in Canada. Both vehicles are produced in the US and the days’ worth of supply for both vehicles is over 100. As of April 2019, Chevrolet Bolt had 191-days’ worth of supply and the Nissan Leaf had 128, meaning the US is well stocked and both OEMs can focus on shipping inventory to meet demand in Canada created by the ZEV federal program. This creates the fundamental base that will allow the brands to act quickly and take advantage of early demand of the ZEV program.
Every year, Canadian consumers change their shopping behaviour with the speed of a finely-tuned CASCAR champion. How do dealers reach and capture this constantly evolving market?
Like their counterparts in other parts of the world, Canadian consumers are time-starved and impatient. Whether their day includes a commute on the 401 or Granville Street, their time is short and their attention span is shrinking. According to the National Post, the average Canadian consumer has an attention span of just eight seconds, even less than a goldfish. The culprit? Portable devices.
The proof is evident in Canadian consumer visits to dealerships, which are now at 1.9, according to Google Think Auto. They’re spending even more time online, checking dealer websites, third-party reviews, OEM websites, and social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Google also notes that 84 per cent intend to do more online research to further reduce their dealer visits next time they’re purchasing.
With the average monthly car payment roughly $660, Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail says consumers are spending too much money on cars. Carrick offered some financial rules for buying a car, and he dug into the data from CarGurus’ Price Trends tool to back his recommendations. Check out his advice here:
SUVs outsell small cars 2-to-1 in Canada – Just a detour, or the new status quo?
Conventional wisdom would suggest that in this era of rising gas prices, environmental consciousness, and a millennial-dominated customer base, small cars would dominate car sales statistics. On a global scale, that’s true: small cars continue to outsell light trucks, sport utility vehicles, and crossovers in 2018. But, if you’re like most car dealers and sales managers in North America, you’ll know that conventional wisdom is getting crushed beneath SUV tires as they roll off your lot.
Whether you need help pricing your inventory or you’re looking for insight into what cars to stock, CarGurus can help! We track the prices of millions of used cars and make the data available in our Price Trends tool. Use it to identify seasonal trends, look up average used car prices, or find out which makes and models best hold their value over time.